Monday, January 17, 2011

Guest Bloggers: Sloane & Rob


Today I have two talented authors Sloane Taylor and Rob Appleton who write together Claire De Lune.

Sloane: Hi, Marie, thank you for having me out today. I looked forward to chatting with you and your friends.

Tell us about yourself:

Sloane: I’m a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives which carry over into my books.

My stories are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. As a true romantic, my women bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

I was born and raised in Chicago. Studly, my non-husband and mate for life, and I split our time between a home in Illinois and a weekend cottage on the back roads of Indiana…or you can catch up with me as I travel though Europe, researching new material.

Rob: I mainly write science fiction, but I’ve penned everything from a Victorian steampunk mystery to a crocodile attack set during WWII (based on true events). I currently write for several major digital publishers, including Carina Press and Samhain.

I live in Bolton, Northwest England. When not writing, I love to kayak whenever I can (not often enough), underachieve at soccer with my long-standing 5-a-side team, and climb the occasional mountain. My favorite authors include Patrick O’Brian, H. Rider Haggard and H.G. Wells. I’m also an incorrigible film buff (with a degree to prove it) who’s endlessly fascinated by Harryhausen, Spielberg and Oliver Stone.

To learn more, visit my website, www.robertappleton.co.uk, or swing by my blog, http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com.

What do you like the most and the least about writing?

Sloane: My favorite part of writing is typing “The End”. Lol. Seriously, I love the prep work. Each book has a storyboard and outline. I get excited working all that out.

As for what I like least - I have a passion for evil villains. Giving them a distinctive voice without repulsing the reader has proved to be a challenge. With the help of a superb editor, we make it happen.

Rob: The thing I like most about writing is the freedom I have in bringing these crazy ideas to life. What starts as an idle, one line description can grow into an epic, multi-novel saga, and I get to shape every aspect of it. It’s a constant creative buzz, knowing that I’m in uncharted territory because no one else will ever write this exact same story this exact same way. I get to make a gazillion decisions (most of them intuitive). And whether or not the story holds up or collapses is entirely on my shoulders.

The thing I like least about writing is that it’s only ever “perfect” for that brief window between finally letting it go (submitting it for the first time) and receiving that first criticism. After that, it’ll never be completely yours.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? (blurb)

Cocky young detectives Gerry Rappeneau and Sebastian Thorpe-Campbell arrive at the premier lunar resort expecting a week of eye candy and long massages. With a half-billion-credit purse up for grabs, this year’s pageant is the focus of a hundred worlds. And beauty isn’t the only thing in the eye of the beholder.

One contestant, Evelyn Lyons, is attacked and her assailant killed. Surely a simple case of a stalker gone mad, as nothing bad ever happens at the Selene contest. So the brochure says.

The closer Gerry gets to Evelyn, the more he is convinced she’s hiding something. His meticulous character sparks with her wild, sassy nature, and they embark on a torrid affair. Their forbidden romance isn’t the only thing set to ignite in Pont de Reves.

Sebastian’s infatuation with demure Claire Villiers, another contestant, threatens to put all four of them in harm’s way.

A deadly trail of corporate conspiracy, monstrous assassins and hot bikini wax is more than anyone bargained for in this incendiary erotic mystery. Get ready for some serious heat on the dark side of the moon.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

Sloane: Not a sequel to CLAIRE DE LUNE, but a prequel featuring a favorite secondary character from CDL—the pageant doctor, Grace Peters. It will be risky and quip-laden and there will be much sci-fi sauciness. After that, I have four other books due to Amber Quill – Amber Heat this year. Now to find the time to do them. lol

Rob: My first steampunk mystery novella, The Mysterious Lady Law, is out at Carina Press on January 31st, in ebook format. Shortly after, it will be released as an audio book, which I’m majorly excited about. I’ve also submitted a second, longer steampunk story to Carina, as well as a SF novel set in deep space.

And after Claire de Lune turned out so well, Sloane and I are planning to co-pen a prequel some time in 2011. We’ve already outlined it, and it’s going to be scorcher.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Sloane: Good question, Marie, and one that made me think. I want readers to know there is still romance in our universe and its there for each and every one of use when we least expect it. I’m living proof. Studs golfed his way into my life one Saturday afternoon six years ago and I still can’t believe how fortunate I am.

Rob: Well, the last few months have been pretty spectacular for me as a writer. Apart from the releases of Claire de Lune and Impulse Power (Samhain’s space opera romance anthology, featuring my novella The Mythmakers), I was recently named as a two-time finalist in the 2011 EPIC Awards! That’s a whole lotta awesome sauce in one go.

And Happy New Year, dear readers!

Please include an excerpt to your book here:

Sloane's excerpt: Evelyn’s self-esteem soared like a rocket into space as she gazed into Gerry’s dark blue eyes. All the need and desire that filled him shone through. She liked him, maybe even more than that if she were honest, and had wanted him from the moment his pompous ass walked into her hotel room. Being with him and initiating sex tonight was the right thing for her to do.

Gerry wrapped an arm around her waist, tugging her closer, as if he sensed how frail she was at that moment.

A sigh escaped her. Damn, his hard chest felt good against her achy boobs, but not as good as his rigid cock nestling into her belly.

“Evie—"

“Don’t talk.” She hadn’t heard that name in a long time, not since her father was murdered.

He nodded and traced his index finger along her bottom lip. She nipped the tip, then sucked it in, tonguing the pad until he groaned.

“Ah, Ev—” He caught her face in both of his hands and kissed her with a passion that ignited her like none other.

His tongue toyed against the seam of her mouth and she willingly opened to welcome him. He delved in, a beautiful taste of wine and herbs, lapping and swirling until her knees trembled. With a regretful sigh, she pulled away.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“Shh. No talking. It’s my little quirk.” She gently tapped his mouth, then took his hand and led him closer to the purple sand. After she stooped, she patted the floor, inviting him to join her. He made short work of sprawling out and laid his arms at his sides.

Evelyn rose up on her knees and combed her hands down his chest, flicking his nipples until they sprang to life. Intrigued by their stiff peaks, she swiped her tongue over her dry lips and leaned into him, licking and sucking the copper-colored discs.

She continued lower to the blond tuft cradling his cock. Gently, she glided her thumb over his swollen head, teasing the drops of pre-cum from the slit to the sensitive underside. Her other hand cupped his balls, rolling the tight sacs with her fingers, taking pleasure in her teasing.

His hips jerked with each light touch. He fisted his hands and dug his heels into the floor. Through hooded eyes, he watched, but did as she had requested and maintained silence.

On a rush of air, she gave his lips a quick peck and eased over him, holding her thighs tight against his lean frame. Heat emanated from his body, soothing and stimulating, a new awareness she longed to experience more than just once.

Her breasts swayed mere inches from his mouth. He stretched up and tweaked her pebbled nipples with his thumbs and index fingers. Cuddling them together, he licked and suckled the sensitive tips, first one, then the other. A deep shiver rocketed through her, increasing the ache low in her belly.

She teased his cock along her nether lips, loving the feel of his hot flesh grazing against her clit. In slow motion, she edged onto his shaft, savoring the inches that penetrated her wet vagina.

He rocked into her, clutching her hips, holding her in place. She locked her hands around his wrists and pulled them away, the need to set the pace paramount.

Time stood still. The only sounds in the room were their pants and grunts as they ground against each other. He stopped mid-thrust, his face set in a grimace.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he bit out through clenched teeth. “This is so sexy I don’t want to come.”

“I do.” She slapped his hip. “Again and again.”

Rising up on her knees, Evelyn again found her momentum and rode him harder, faster, loving the feel of him pounding inside her. Her breath hitched as he thrust higher, deeper, tapping her womb, the sensation sublime.

Sweat beaded on her forehead. Her body tensed. She gritted her teeth, unable to control the emotion skyrocketing through her...

Rob's Excerpt: “Excuse me, Ms. Villiers.” Sebastian grew lightheaded as he leaned in close to her shiny brunette curls and Mystique perfume. “Will you come with me, please.” It wasn’t a question.

She neither looked up at him nor reacted in any way surprised. “What for, Detective?” she asked with sultry confidence, separating her red tower of ten thousand plaques into two even piles. “Am I under arrest?”

“No, but your life may well be in danger.”

He watched her beautiful, swan-like neck for a reaction. Sure enough, the lump in her throat seemed to roll like a heartbeat in slow motion. Fear.

“Come on. I’ll escort you back to your room. And don’t worry; you’re safe with me.”

She nodded. Sebastian helped her off her stool, then scooped up her chips and kept her close as they walked to the caisse. No words, only half smiles, ricocheting glances, and a mutual shortness of breath betrayed the rising attraction he perceived. Sebastian thought she looked devastating in a bride of Dracula sort of way—eye shadow, spidery eyelashes, black gloves, a somewhat Gothic, figure-hugging evening dress. There was also a caginess about her, a taciturn depth that seemed to scrutinize the world from beneath her sweet exterior. He could feel the intensity effervescing through his pores, like the shared taste of champagne during a French kiss.

Claire stuffed the credit discs in her soft, black purse and wrapped the handle’s silver beading around her knuckles. The sucker looked heavy. She’d done well at the baccarat table.

“Good night, sir, madam,” said the doorman.

“Yeah, ’night.” Sebastian turned to Claire. “Here, let me carry that. It’s too much for a little lady to haul about.”

She brushed his hand away and, to Sebastian’s genuine surprise, she offered him her other one. A bone-deep frisson gripped him. He almost tripped over his own heels as he sidled closer and took her hand. A breathless sensation. Warm butterscotch with the tingle, but not the crackle of static. All the way to the hotel foyer, his heart and his head and his hand occupied the same space—molded in the supple magic grip of Claire Villiers.

“Aren’t you going to tell me what this is about?” Her sideways glance melted the last of him.

“Detective Rappeneau says you’re in trouble. Do you know a woman named Evelyn Lyons?”

“No.”

“She’s another Selene contestant—blonde, from Yordan.”

“I don’t know her.”

They reached the empty elevator. Sebastian pressed three.

“Well, she seems to know you. Her room was ransacked tonight, and whoever did it seemed to be interested in your profile—it was found among Ms. Lyons’ things. Coincidence, wouldn’t you say?”

“Yes, I would.” Her expression remained inscrutable, her posture stately. “What do you think it means?”

Sebastian didn’t believe her, but he thought it was wise to play along until Gerry called. Branding her a liar felt wrong on every conceivable level of his conscience, not the least because he had an erection the size of the Washington Monument. He cleared his throat. “We don’t know yet. But I promise I’ll keep you safe until we find out.”

“Thank you, Sebastian,” she said. A glowing smile extended to her eyes.

“My pleasure.”

Christ! Even the sound of the word “pleasure” in close proximity to her sent a typhoon raging through his brain. He had to stop thinking with his dick. If Gerry was right and Claire was in the crosshairs, a horny bachelor would be as much use to her as paper stilettos. He was armed, yes, but what use was that if he couldn’t hold the fucker straight?

“Won’t you come in?” She let go of his hand and retrieved her room card from her purse.

“I think I’d bett— No! Don’t touch it!” He grabbed her arm as she shoved the card into the lock. Yanking her away from the door, he sickened at the affirmative click. He stepped out of a quick cold shower of shame. His mind had been wandering. He’d almost let her open the door to her room without checking it first. Unforgivable.

Claire rubbed her arm where he’d manhandled her.

“Stay here.” He sprang into action with his palms pressed against the cool metal grip of his Kruger. “Don’t…move.” He smashed the door open with a single kick and swallowed the geography of the room in a split-second glimpse. No threat that he could see. A bit of a mess near the wardrobe—clothes left on the floor or tossed over the back of the chair. But that could just be Claire’s untidiness. Otherwise, the room resembled Evelyn Lyons’ to a fault. Expensively accoutered, spacious, big window. Sebastian darted out into the middle of the room, his firearm trained on the Jacuzzi area, then behind the wardrobe, behind the door. He checked under the bed, inside the wardrobe.

A sigh.

“It’s all right, Claire. You’re safe to come in.”

No reply. His heart plummeted. He made ready to tear outside, to chase her and her kidnapper to the ends of the moon, and kill anyone who got in his way. Then she slinked inside and, expressionless, eased the door shut behind her.

“We’ll just stay put…wait for the word from Gerry.” He sank his pistol into its holster. Claire took his jacket and hung it up behind the door.

“Can I get you a drink?” she said.

“No, thanks. I’m good.”

“A bite to eat?”

“Nah, best not get too comfortable. But I think it’s time you came clean about—”

Claire reached for his hand and pulled him toward her. Her freckled face was clearly a strawberry red, her lips trembling. She wrapped her arms around him, holding him close. Sebastian nestled his chin in her soft, dark brown curls, twining her warm fingers with his. They swayed to an inner beat, their slow dance a syncopation of heartbeats on the skip. Breathless, he leaned back until she looked up, her big, hazel eyes glinting and full of want. What a gentle creature she really was beneath the glamour. A vulnerable, fragile beauty. A lady.

Last words:

Thank you again, Marie, for the opportunity to visit with you. We’ve enjoyed it!

Visit Sloane at: http://www.sloanetaylor.com/

Visit Rob at: www.robertappleton.co.uk

For more information on their book or to buy: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ClaireDeLune.html


6 comments:

Sloane Taylor said...

Thanks, again, Marie. You did a beautiful job and we both appreciate it.

Jenna Howard said...

Lovely! I think I need to go do a little shopping. Tah!

Robert Appleton said...

Thanks, Marie. This was a real treat to start the week off. Sloane and I do enjoy our dual interviews.

Melissa Bradley said...

This book sounds dynamite. Great interview, Sloane and Rob.

Sloane Taylor said...

Excellent idea, Jenna.:)

Thanks, Melissa!

Marie Tuhart said...

Sloane and Rob, great to have you here today. I've been caught up in the day job all day and couldn't get here. Have a fantastic week.